The East London community is primed for another entertaining day of exercise when the SPAR Daily Dispatch Fun Run takes place in the city on Sunday, September 8.
As in previous years, the event, starting and finishing at the Orient Beach pools, will comprise distances of 8km and 4km, with the shorter distance being a perfect opportunity for those in wheelchairs to join in the fun.
SPAR Eastern Cape is involved for the third year in a row and sponsorship and events manager Alan Stapleton said it was “a very special occasion for us”.
“In a way, this Daily Dispatch Fun Run is linked to the Wheelchair Wednesday campaign run by the Association for Persons with Physical Disabilities which we have held in Nelson Mandela Bay during August,” he said.
“We are obviously not in a position to have a wheelchair campaign in each region, but the fun run, in the form of the 4km event, is very much aimed at those people in wheelchairs.
“The 4km course is wheelchair-friendly and it’s great to see them enjoying the sort of race that many of us take for granted.
“And following the event we donate a number of wheelchairs to needy recipients in the greater East London area.”
Stapleton added that it was the perfect opportunity to link up with the East London community.
“The people are fantastic and they come out in their droves to enjoy what is a really fun day.”
Daily Dispatch marketing manager Jennilee Peremore-Oliver said they had moved the event forward by a few months to tie in with the advent of spring.
“This is a colourful, fun, family event and we think spring speaks to that element of our race,” she said.
“Everyone is usually happy about the start of the new season because we’re welcoming warmer weather where you can do fun, outdoor activities with friends and family.
“We think the SPAR Daily Dispatch Fun Run ticks all those boxes and is just a great way to welcome the season.”
She added that the traditional date in late November often clashed with other activities among corporates and schools at that time of the year.
“We’re hoping that the new date will help us increase entries and grow the race.”
Peremore-Oliver said this year the 4km was aimed at walkers and would not be timed, while the 8km was for the more serious runners and would be timed.
The Sweethearts Foundation will again be the beneficiary, with R10 from each entry going towards the charity.
She supported Stapleton’s comment that the interest shown by those with disabilities made it a special occasion.
“It certainly is an inspiring event, seeing all the disabled entrants participating on the day.
“We are grateful to all the organisations who make the necessary arrangements for the disabled entrants to participate, including Life Hospital, Bonnie Current Consulting & Marissa Nel Associates, Rehab Eastern Cape and PNA.
Peremore-Oliver also acknowledged the sponsors who support the race.
“There will be special discounts available from our participating sponsors to all entrants who show their race number on Sunday, September 8, 2019 at the applicable store.
“Entrants will be notified of the full list of discounts at registration, which will take place on Friday [September 6] from 10am to 6pm and on Saturday from 10am to 1pm.”
She paid tribute to SPAR EC for its contribution to the race.
“We would like to thank SPAR for making this event possible for the East London community,” she said.
“The company is a wonderful partner to work with. Each year we work together to make the event bigger and better.
“Last, but not least, we want to recognise the support we get from our community in East London, with members of all ages and from all walks of life joining us for a day of fun and healthy exercise.”
CAPTION: The East London community is gearing up for the SPAR Daily Dispatch Fun Run which will start and finish at the Orient Beach pools on September 8. There will be 4km and 8km distances. Photo: Mark Andrews